On a historic day for the centuries of high water in Venice, the MOSE dams rise on 3 October 2020, limiting the tide in the lagoon to 70cm instead of the expected 125cm.

A long wait of about 30 years seems to have finally paid off with a system that can withstand the tidal wave of the Adriatic when it becomes critical for the Venetian lagoon.

For the first time, the MOSE protection system (MOdulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico / Experimental Electromechanical Model) is tested on a real tide in the harbor mouth of the Lido of Venice, the one that has the function of protection towards the Venetian lagoon, directly connected with the historic high waters of the city lagoon.

At 12:00, with the tide forecast of 125cm, the height in the lagoon - and therefore in the city - is only 70cm, thus avoiding for the first time the now world-famous Venetian high water event, which today would inevitably lead to a part of the city underneath.

The graph shows the inland tidal peak in the lagoon (darker area) with measurements at sea, which are much higher. (Comune di Venezia — Centro Maree)

Is it the end of the Venetian high waters?

Today's test seems to confirm this new direction, with a more protected and safer city, which will now have to deal with further tests, the final test (scheduled for December 31, 2021) and the verification of everyday life, confirming that the MOSE is reliable. and efficient for every need, without hitches.

The other test will occur in the event of future exceptional events such as the 2019 event, when the tide reached a peak of 187cm, determined by various environmental factors which together produced a highly critical situation throughout the lagoon, which with the current ongoing climate crisis is expected to be more frequent and intense.

However, the success of today's MOSE bodes well in having solved at least a large part of the problem and, although the guard should not be let down, it allows us to look to the future with another perspective, more positive and of greater serenity.

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